Flashing warning lights compulsory in Germany, what you should know

Als je actief bent als transporteur of carrosserie bouwer, heb je het vast al gehoord. Knipperende markeringslichten worden verplicht op trailers en vrachtwagens in Duitsland. De regering wil namelijk dat de lange vrachtwagens (LZV’s) worden uitgerust met een systeem dat controleert of chauffeurs veilig hun richting in kunnen slaan tijdens het vrachtwagen rijden in Duitsland. Op deze manier verwachten ze dat er minder ongelukken gebeuren. De naam voor dit systeem is de zogenaamde ‘turn-around-assistent’. In direct Duits: ‘Abbiege-assistent'. The 'turn assistance' rules apply to 'long heavy goods vehicles', also known as 'LZVs'. Transporters have until July 2022 to have such a system installed on their truck and trailer. The flashing hazard lights are part of this device. In order to better alert road users to the direction that a long truck is taking, it is mandatory that the orange marker lights net als de richtingaanwijzers mee knipperen.

What is a rotation assistant?

Turning assistants should be able to significantly reduce the number of accidents. Pedestrians and cyclists are threatened daily by turning lorries. Terrible accidents happen all too often. The reason for this is the well-known blind spot or blind spot. This is the area next to the vehicle that cannot be seen despite the wing mirrors. Additional sensors can therefore help you to 'see' the blind spot.

How does a turning aid system work?

So 'turn-off assistants' warn you if you are a truck or bus driver turning off and pedestrians or cyclists are in danger next to you. By using extra sensors, for example: cameras, ultrasonic, radar or infrared sensors, the blind spot is made as small as possible. Whether your visibility in this blind spot is better, it depends on how you look at it! The point is that the driver is better able to detect objects in the blind spot. The turn-off assistant is automatically activated when you use the direction indicator. Another moment when the assistant is activated is when you drive slower. In this way, you can better keep an eye on what is happening in these blind spots. Truck drivers are warned visually and acoustically about obstacles or fellow road users in the blind spot.

truck assistant

When is my vehicle an LZV?

Longer, heavier combination vehicles (LZVs) are also called 'Ecocombi's'. These are trucks that can and may transport more load than a normal truck combination. An LZV has a maximum length of 25.25 metres and a weight of 60 tonnes. This while a regular truck is up to 18.75 metres long and can weigh up to 50 tonnes (in the Netherlands). Because fuel consumption hardly increases, transporting goods by LZV can save 40% to 30% on fuel. Which we consider to be quite a lot. There are seven possible variants of LZV (see image). The F and G variants are quite rare. So for the vehicles A to G, flashing lights are mandatory.

Lange zware vrachtwagen soorten LZV

Will the Netherlands adopt these rules? Or is something already known about this?

In Nederland is er nog geen sprake ook zo’n systeem in te voeren op lange vrachtwagen/trailer combinaties. Maar deze draai assistent is wel toegestaan. Je ziet deze toepassing in Nederland nog vrij weinig en voor Nederlandse transporteurs die met een LZV voertuig in Duitsland rijden, gelden deze regels voor vrachtwagens (nog) niet. In Duitsland mag u met een Nederlandse vrachtwagen gewoon zonder knipperende markeringslichten blijven rijden. Dit omdat de EU wetgeving centraal is voor de Europese wegen. Duitsland moet dus een LZV van een andere EU lidstaat niet weigeren. Een veiligere keuze is het mee laten knipperen uiteraard wel! Ook best stijlvol, al zeggen we het zelf.

Would it be cool to have the side of your trailer flashing dynamically?

In our case, we will check with the RDW whether this is a possibility. It would be a really unique addition. Think of the Dynamic indicator strip
mounted in multiples on the side of your truck and trailer.

When will these rules be used Europe-wide?

Based on the turning aid rules from 2019, the European Commission proposes that turning aids should be compulsory after 2022 on new types of vehicles and for all new trucks and buses produced after 2024.

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